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Sean Bhaile & A'Chille, settlement, chapel & cross-slab, Port Mor

A Scheduled Monument in Caol and Mallaig, Highland

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Coordinates

Latitude: 56.8362 / 56°50'10"N

Longitude: -6.2314 / 6°13'52"W

OS Eastings: 142010

OS Northings: 779624

OS Grid: NM420796

Mapcode National: GBR CB0N.6JX

Mapcode Global: WGY9T.7FYM

Entry Name: Sean Bhaile & A'Chille, settlement, chapel & cross-slab, Port Mor

Scheduled Date: 29 September 2004

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM11006

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Crosses and carved stones: cross slab; Ecclesiastical: chapel; Secular: settlement, including desert

Location: Small Isles

County: Highland

Electoral Ward: Caol and Mallaig

Traditional County: Argyllshire

Description

The monument comprises the remains of a post-medieval township and of a medieval chapel and burial ground, part of which is still used.

A deserted linear township of up to twenty buildings and yards lies either side of a street running NNW-SSE, set on gently sloping grass-covered ground not far from the head of Port Mor. The buildings survive as stony turf-covered banks standing up to 1m in height, and associated field walls standing up to 0.5 m high. Beside the settlement is a burial ground. The burial ground is bounded by the footings of a tumbled stone wall around the W half but this cannot be traced elsewhere. Within it lie the fragmentary ruins of a small chapel. The remains of the chapel are oblong on plan, oriented ENE-WSW, with measurements 6m by 3m, within drystone walls 1.5m thick and up to 1m high. The entrance to the chapel is in the S wall. Inside the chapel, at the E end, is a roughly circular hollowed sandstone block, believed to be a font. A cross-incised slab once stood here too, but this has since been moved.

The area proposed for scheduling comprises the remains of the township, chapel and burial ground, as described, and an area around them in which evidence relating to the construction and occupation of the site is likely to survive. It is irregular on plan, measuring a maximum of 290m NW-SE by a maximum 125m NE-SW, as marked in red on the accompanying map extract.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

This site is of national importance for its potential to contribute to our understanding of post-medieval rural settlement and economy, in particular its evolution from earlier periods. The presence of the apparently early church on the site suggests it is a very long-lived settlement focus.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Sources

Bibliography

The monument is recorded by RCAHMS as NM47NW 7 and NM47NW 1.

References:

Draper P and L 1996, 'A NOTE ON THE OLD SETTLEMENT AT KEIL, ISLE OF MUCK', Vernacular Building 20.

Fisher I 2001, EARLY MEDIEVAL SCULPTURE IN THE WEST HIGHLANDS AND ISLANDS, RCAHMS/Society of Antiquaries of Scotland Monograph series 1, 92. Edinburgh.

NSA 1845, THE NEW STATISTICAL ACCOUNT OF SCOTLAND BY THE MINISTERS OF THE RESPECTIVE PARISHES UNDER THE SUPERINTENDANCE OF A COMMITTEE OF THE SOCIETY FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE SONS AND DAUGHTERS OF THE CLERGY, 15v. Edinburgh, Vol. 14, 153.

RCAHMS 1928, NINTH REPORT WITH INVENTORY OF MONUMENTS AND CONSTRUCTIONS IN THE OUTER HEBRIDES, SKYE AND THE SMALL ISLES, Edinburgh, 221, No. 690.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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